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As a teacher, what kind of attitude would be desirable?

I am an English teacher in Korea. (I am not in a school, but in some private educational institute.)
I teach young teenagers--11 to 16 yrs.
Since we have a quite tight curriculum, I just have to force them to study really hard and keep up with my class even though I know that it would be not that helpful to them.
I even think that it can be devastating to their creativity.
I really don't want to be the one who ruins their creativity.
I sometimes hate to point to out their inappropriate behaviors.
For example, we are supposed to scold them if they draw some ridiculous cartoon characters on their textbooks because that means they don't concentrate on their study. But I sometimes want to let them do it. It can be helpful to foster their creativity, right?
I just want them to study freely and I want to let them enjoy some interesting activities.
But my right is limited. There's a bunch of schedule in this institute.
Since it's a kinda big institute, my opinion is not accepted.
Am I not disciplined?
Well, if so, I wouldn't mind at all because I don't think being just strict would be the right answer for this situation.
How can I change this strict way of education in this country?
What would be the desirable attitude for me?
Any ideas?


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    Jun 7 2012: You are working withing a system that is very fixed. Teenagers appreciate HONESTY. Be very "straight-up" with them. It is ok to tell them that you do not agree with everything that you have to put them through. But explain to them that we have to learn to operate effectively in the societies of which we are a part. We have to play by the rules and if we don't agree with those rules, find a way to get them changed.
    Look very closely at where you might be able to do that yourself. (Example is the greatest teacher.)
    Carefully consider where you have some control over the situation and where you don't. Teach your students to do the same. Recognize that sometimes change and progress takes time.
    Most important: Be open and honest with them.
    Good luck!
    • Jun 10 2012: Really appreciate your advice!
      Helpful indeed.

      Love your attitude :)

      As you said, being honest would be the first step for me!

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